3x11 Transcript

Nikki Heat
transcribed by macbeth13

UNDISCLOSED SOUND STAGE

(A bouquet of red roses falls to the floor. A heated scene between a blonde with a gun and a man holding another man at gunpoint. The acting is sub-par at best, and it certainly does not feel right for Nikki Heat.)

NATALIE RHODES
Game over and you lose, Tom! Drop it!

“TOM“
Put down the gun or I swear I'll blow his head off!

NATALIE
You know I can't do that, Tom.

“TOM“
You think I'm kidding around here, Detective Heat?!

NATALIE
No, I don't! I think you feel trapped and you're serious as hell, but right now I need you to think about the people who love you, and they need you to put down that gun-"

(The scene freezes as we realize it is on CASTLE’s television and he has pressed pause on the remote.)


CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE
I can't take it any more. The character of Nikki Heat is a smart, complicated detective with, with enormous...depth, and then the studio goes and casts the bra-less co-ed and blood soaked t-shirt from Knife 2?

MARTHA
Well, Knife 2 made a lot of money, honey, thanks in no small part to Natalie Rhodes. And your books are not exactly Shakespeare.

CASTLE
Thank you, I was just hoping to elevate their stature by not casting the chainsaw-wielding hooker from Hallowscream.

ALEXIS
Hey, I like that movie! (Awkward pause as CASTLE looks at his daughter) If I'd seen it, which I haven't.

MARTHA
Look, this is an audition tape, give the girl a chance.

ALEXIS
According to US Weekly, for her movie Hell's Crawlspace, she actually lived in her house's crawlspace for a week to prepare for the role.

MARTHA
Well, you got to admit that's, phuh, dedication to the craft.

CASTLE
Well, how about that dialogue? I mean how hackey is that- I- "Right now you need to think about the people who love you." Like that's gonna stop a murderer? That screenwriter needs to spend a week in a crawlspace.

MARTHA
Okay, darling, enough with the complaining.

(CASTLE's cell phone rings)

CASTLE:
It's Beckett. She is gonna hate the idea of Natalie Rhodes.

ALEXIS
Pick it up, Dad. A murder will make you feel better.


MURDER SCENE

(CASTLE shows up at the crime scene, which is in an alley.)

CASTLE
Morning, boys!

DET. KEVIN RYAN
Hey, Castle, how's it going?

CASTLE
Good. What's up?

(RYAN pulls a jewelry box out of his pocket and opens it to show CASTLE the engagement ring inside. CASTLE takes the ring box in his hand to look at it closer.)

CASTLE
Ryan, I don't know what to say. I mean, I'm flattered but -

RYAN
Oh, c'mon. It's nice, right? Right?

CASTLE
Jenny is a lucky girl. So how you gonna pop the question? Hot air balloon? Skywriter? JumboTron?

RYAN
I-I thought I'd just ask.

CASTLE
No, no, look. You can't just ask. You gotta make a statement, it’s gotta be big. Helicopter ride?

(BECKETT walks up to meet CASTLE and RYAN)


BECKETT
Actually, most girls prefer something a little more intimate.

CASTLE
What, so he's just supposed to be boring and ask, "Will you marry me?"

(CASTLE holds out the ring facing BECKETT as he asks, and a moment of tension passes as they look into each other's eyes. The music scoring plays a soft, high, tension-building string accompaniment. BECKETT has a soft smile on her face as she cocks her head. CASTLE has a look on his face as he realizes the power of his hypothetical question. RYAN can't decide which one to look at and nervously takes his ring back from CASTLE, ending the moment.)

CASTLE
And helicopter rides are intimate.

BECKETT
Yeah, sure, if you want to share the most romantic moment of your life with Reggie the chopper pilot.

(BECKETT walks away from them after the jab. CASTLE follows her, walking backwards, mouthing to RYAN 'helicopter ride' and giving a thumbs up. Cut scene to the body, a female in a business suit impaled on a low wrought iron fence.)

BECKETT
Our victim is Stacey Collins. She's forty-five. According to her business card she's a high-end match-maker.

CASTLE
Like Millionaire Matchmaker.

RYAN
Without the reality show.

CASTLE
Or pulse.

RYAN
That too.

BECKETT
Defensive wounds indicate that she was attacked. We found her purse with wallet, credit card and cash inside, but the thing that was missing were her keys. Uniforms are on their way to her apartment and office to see if our killer decided to use them.

(Enter DETECTIVE JAVIER ESPOSITO.)

ESPOSITO
Yo! So apparently our victim was at a surprise party thrown in her honor last night by all the happy couples that she matched up.

BECKETT
Where was the party?

ESPOSITO
Oscar's Grill, 85th and 3rd.

RYAN
That's only seven blocks from here.

ESPOSITO
Collins left the party just before ten.

BECKETT
M.E. estimates the time of death between ten and eleven.

CASTLE
Killer could have been at the party and followed her?

RYAN
Gosh, d'you think a married person killed the woman who gave them such happiness, do you?
(They all give RYAN looks that say they all clearly do think that)
Yeah, I'll start on bringing them in. (Exit RYAN)

(A car door audibly opens. CASTLE turns around to see a black limousine.)

CASTLE
Surprise visit from the mayor?

BECKETT
Better.

(Cue short sexed-up montage as NATALIE RHODES exits the limousine and struts towards them in slow mo’ complete with steam.)

ESPOSITO
Holy smoke! That's Natalie Rhodes!

BECKETT
Sure is. Apparently, she is playing Nikki Heat.

ESPOSITO
What?! That's awesome!

CASTLE
Yeah, it's awesome. (Tone suggests otherwise.) What is she doing here?

BECKETT
She called and asked if she could shadow me for a little while. She wanted to get 'an authentic feel for what it's like to be Nikki by following the person who inspired Nikki'.

CASTLE
And you said yes?

BECKETT
Yeah.

NATALIE RHODES
Detective Beckett? My God, you are exactly what I imagined Nikki Heat would look like.

BECKETT
Natalie, this is Richard Castle, and this is Detective Javier Esposito.

NATALIE
Hey. (unenthusiastic to ESPOSITO, then she turns back to BECKETT) Just so you know, Detective, I'm very Method. So it's all about getting inside of you, which starts with observing and noting.

BECKETT
Okay, well, observe and note away. I'm already used to it.

CASTLE
(Laughing feebly at BECKETT's jest.) I'm sorry, I don't think you heard. I'm Richard Castle.

NATALIE
Great. (Clearly not getting who he is.)

CASTLE
I-I wrote Heat Wave.

NATALIE
Oh, I thought your name sounded familiar.

RYAN
(Walking up to the group again) Hey! I just got off the phone with the guys at the ah...(he notices NATALIE and freezes.)

NATALIE
Hi.

BECKETT
Natalie, this is Detective Kevin Ryan.

RYAN
(Shaking her hand and smiling goofily) Uh, hi.

BECKETT
Ryan. The call.

RYAN
Yeah. Looks like our killer took our victim's keys for a reason. Uniforms just got to her office, the place has been tossed.

BECKETT
You guys go to the office, see what the killer was after. We'll go interview party guests and see if we can shed some light on what this was all about.

ESPOSITO
Right. (exit)

(RYAN waves goodbye to NATALIE like a cute dork, then exits.)

BECKETT
(To NATALIE.) Come on.

CASTLE:
(In an aside at NATALIE RHODES' back as he's feeling less than appreciated) Hello, I'm your creator.


PRECINCT

NATALIE
So who would want to kill a match-maker?

BECKETT
Well, that's what we have to find out. And the first 48 hours are the most critical. After that, evidence gets corrupted, witnesses get less reliable and...oh, huh... (sees the entire precinct is stopping to stare) I'm so sorry everyone is staring, I already talked to them, but it's just...it's not everyday that we get someone famous in here. (CASTLE looks at BECKETT, slack-jawed.) Listen up everybody! This is Natalie Rhodes, she will be shadowing me for a little while, so if you wanna gawk just get it over with so we can all get back to work.

NATALIE
(Tossing her coat and purse at CASTLE à la MIRANDA PRIESTLY.) And if anyone wants a picture and autographs come on over!

CASTLE
(To BECKETT while NATALIE is busy signing and posing.) I can't believe you said it was okay for her to tail us without asking me first.

BECKETT
Not ‘us‘, Castle, me.

CASTLE
Oh. My. God. You like her, don't you?

BECKETT
Yeah, so?

CASTLE
So was it her work in Mutilation High that changed your life, or perhaps Demon Patrol?

BECKETT
Well, the way that she beheaded those zombies with the samurai sword was pretty cool.

CASTLE
Yes, it was cool, but that does not make her Nikki Heat! Nikki Heat is classy, she's complicated, she's a...thinking man's cop.

BECKETT
Well, you can't judge a book by its cover.

CASTLE
Yes, actually. Yes, I can when it's my book. And she's a civilian, I mean aren't you afraid she's gonna get in the way and mess up the case?

BECKETT
You're kidding, right? (She looks at CASTLE, who is oblivious. Uniforms walk some people into the precinct for BECKETT to interview. BECKETT throws her coat at CASTLE.) Hey, Natalie! Want to join in on your first interview?

NATALIE
Yup, be right there.

(CASTLE is left standing holding the coats.)


STACEY COLLINS’ OFFICE

(RYAN and ESPOSITO are at STACEY COLLINS' office. The place is a wreck, but the jukebox in the back looks nice.)

ESPOSITO
(Gives low whistle) The killer was definitely after something.

RYAN
'Pleased to meet you, Miss Rhodes', how hard is that to say? Now she thinks I'm an idiot.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, probably.

RYAN:
Great, and she's on my list. My freebie five. You know, celebrities you're allowed to make an exception with if you ever got the chance. Jenny even knows.

ESPOSITO
I wouldn't worry about it, bro.

JULIE TAYLOR
(From the doorway behind the yellow tape) Oh my God! What happened?!

ESPOSITO
You are?

TAYLOR
Julie Taylor, I work here, for Stacey Collins.

ESPOSITO
I'm afraid we have some bad news for you, Miss Taylor.


PRECINCT

(The Donners, a couple whom BECKETT and NATALIE just interviewed, are leaving the side office. SCOTT DONNER pauses at the doorway, facing BECKETT.)

SCOTT DONNER
Well, I hope we were helpful.

(BECKETT nods noncommittally, the couple leaves. BECKETT sits down in a chair. CASTLE is sitting on a side table. NATALIE is standing mid-room, taking notes on her cell phone.)

NATALIE
Wow, are all the folks you interview always that unhelpful?

BECKETT
It's a numbers game. You talk to enough people something usually shakes out.

NATALIE
That is going in the movie.

CASTLE
Yeah, being a cop it's kinda like being a prospector. Gotta sift through a lot of rock before you finally hit gold.
NATALIE
Nuh, her line was better. (Typing into her cell.) 'Usually shakes out'.

(BECKETT has a closed mouth smile. CASTLE looks annoyed that he's failing to impress.)


COLLINS OFFICE

ESPOSITO
Besides client files, was there anything of value here? Did she keep cash 'round here?

TAYLOR
No, especially not lately, business is way down.

RYAN
D’you guys take a hit from the economy?

TAYLOR
Mostly it was Stacey. She kept turning down clients.

ESPOSITO
Why would she do that?

TAYLOR
All I know is two months ago she started rejecting applications and here we are, barely making it.

RYAN
We think the killer may have followed her from the event. Did she have issues with any of the guests?

TAYLOR
Oh no, those were her success stories. Sixty happy couples. They put the party together in her honor. They wanted her to see how many lives she touched.


PRECINCT

(Another rich couple is being interviewed, RICHARD and AMELIA WEISS)

AMELIA WEISS
You know what's so sad? I don't think that Stacey ever found a soul-mate for herself.

RICHARD WEISS
It's crazy. Without her we wouldn't even be together. How could she be dead?

BECKETT
Was there anyone acting strangely at the party?

(NATALIE types into her cell 'Beckett: Was there anyone acting strangely?' Weird pause as BECKETT looks over to see what NATALIE is doing.)

CASTLE
What about after the party? Did you see Stacey leave?

RICHARD W.
Actually, yeah. Someone picked her up.

BECKETT
Any idea who?

AMELIA
I didn't see. The car's windows were tinted.

BECKETT and CASTLE
(Together) What -

CASTLE
- kind of vehicle was it? (CASTLE was a little too anxious in asking, overpowering BECKETT. It earns him odd looks.)

RICHARD W.
A sports car. It was a Boxster, a silver Boxster.


COLLINS OFFICE

ESPOSITO:
Did she have any enemies? Anybody who might have wanted to do her harm?

TAYLOR:
(Shocked whisper) Oh man!

RYAN:
What?

TAYLOR:
Brad Williams, Stacey's boyfriend until yesterday.

ESPOSITO:
What happened yesterday?

TAYLOR:
When I came in in the morning they were fighting.

RYAN:
About what?

TAYLOR:
I don't know, but they were both pretty upset. Brad was screaming and Stacey just told him to leave. I think I heard him say he wanted her to give him something back.

RYAN:
Do you have any idea what?

TAYLOR:
No.

(ESPOSITO's cell rings.)

ESPOSITO:
Excuse me. (Steps away to answer cell.)

RYAN:
Did Brad know about the party?

TAYLOR:
Well, he was gonna be there but then, when they split up, I had to un-invite him.

ESPOSITO:
Miss Taylor, does anyone in Stacey's life drive a silver Boxster?

TAYLOR:
Yeah, Brad does.

(CREDITS)


PRECINCT

(Brad Williams is in interrogation, BECKETT is asking the questions while circling the room, she’s in intimidation mode.)

BRAD WILLIAMS:
I was in love with Stacey. What makes you think I could possibly kill her?

BECKETT:
If you were so in love with her why did you have a screaming match in her office yesterday?

WILLIAMS:
We argue. I'm a passionate person.

BECKETT:
Obviously(deadpan). Then after she dumped you, you couldn't handle the rejection and so you killed her.

WILLIAMS:
That's not true.

BECKETT:
When you and Stacey fought you said you wanted something back, what was it?

WILLIAMS:
My dignity.

BECKETT:
You trashed her office looking for your dignity?

WILLIAMS:
I didn't kill her and I didn't trash her office. Stacey stepped out on me. It's why we broke up.

BECKETT:
And that gives you an even greater reason to have killed her.

(Camera pans through the two-way glass into the observation room where CASTLE and NATALIE are watching from.)

NATALIE:
She's amazing! Look at her eye contact; the way she won't let go. I love that.

CASTLE:
So what did you think of Heat Wave?

NATALIE:
Are you kidding, I love it! (CASTLE smiles.) Spike Rosenberg is one of my favourite screenwriters.(Smile falls.) You know he did the un-credited final pass on Hell's Crawlspace.

CASTLE:
Yeah, (clears throat) not the- not the script, the book, the real Heat Wave.

NATALIE:
I haven't read it.

CASTLE:
You- you took the part of Nikki Heat without even reading the book?

NATALIE:
Well, Spike made a lot of changes in the screenplay. I didn't want to confuse the character in my head.

CASTLE:
(Whispered) Changes. (Normal voice) What, what changes?

(Camera cuts to back inside interrogation with BECKETT and Williams. BECKETT is sitting now.)

WILLIAMS:
And then two months ago she started to pull away. Next came some phone calls at odd hours from some guy, she wouldn't say who. The signs were all there I just didn't want to see them.

BECKETT:
Well, just because she was getting phone calls doesn't mean she was having an affair.

WILLIAMS:
I followed her last week. Saw her meet the guy. A real low-life. When I confronted her she denied everything. Called her a liar. Now she's dead.

BECKETT:
And then prior to her death she was seen getting into your car?

WILLIAMS:
After the party I offered her a ride, thinking we could talk.

BECKETT:
Where did you go?

WILLIAMS:
Nowhere. She was barely in the car when he called again. I started to get upset, she just got out.

BECKETT:
Then where'd you go after you dropped her off?

WILLIAMS:
I didn't go anywhere. I noticed I was in front of the Nautilus Diner, I went in and was there until after midnight.

(Camera cut to bullpen)

ESPOSITO:
The hostess at Nautilus confirms Brad's story. Has him there from a few minutes after ten till about midnight drowning his sorrows in five orders of baklava.

CASTLE:
Ooh, I looove their baklava, the honey actually oozes outta the sides (notices BECKETT's glare and switches to business which makes her smile, ESPOSITO watches the exchange) - but the salient point is that Brad Williams justalibied out.

BECKETT:
(To ESPOSITO) Check into Stacey's phone records, let's see if we can find that new boyfriend.

ESPOSITO:
Right. (Exits)

(BECKETT's cell rings alerting her to a text from CSU. NATALIE is typing away on notes on her cell.)

BECKETT:
CSU just found a key hidden under a ceiling tile. (A.N.: How can a key be under a ceiling tile? Shouldn’ t it be above?) They say there's no lock box in Stacey's office and her assistant doesn’t recognize it, so CSU's running it down.

NATALIE:
Maybe that's what the killer was looking for?

CASTLE:
Maybe it's the key to unlocking the mystery of Stacey's murder. (Background phone ringing in place of crickets chirping.)

NATALIE:
So what are you thinking about right now, Detective? What's our next move?

BECKETT:
I'm thinking...I need a cup of coffee.

NATALIE:
Me too! God, we are so in synch.

(They giggle and CASTLE makes a face they don't see. Girls go off leaving CASTLE lagging behind. Enter RYAN who flags down CASTLE.)

RYAN:
(Whispered) Hey, Castle! (Low tones) So I-I, ah, I booked that chopper ride. We're even gonna fly over K. G. MacDougal's it's, it's the bar where Jenny and I met. And then tomorrow I'm going out to Flushing to ask her parents for her hand. I told Jenny I'm playing darts with Esposito.

CASTLE:
(Anxious to get back to BECKETT, his attention was split the entire time RYAN was talking) All right, well you're all set!

RYAN:
(Pulling CASTLE back.) Um, I-I still need to pick a romantic restaurant that's near the Westside Heliport. Any ideas?

CASTLE:
(Sighs and gives RYAN full attention.) Does she like Italian?

(Camera cuts to break room.)

NATALIE:
You are amazing! In fact I've already picked up on a couple of your little secrets.

BECKETT:
Oh, really, (tucks hair behind her ear) like what?

NATALIE:
That thing you do, pushing your hair back behind your ear, it's a device to distract whomever you're talking to. Gives you an extra few seconds to think about what to say.

BECKETT:
Ah, really, I did not…know that.

NATALIE:
Yeah, and then there's those crazy four-inch spike heels! God, they must be hell to run in. (BECKETT laughs.) You know you wouldn't admit it but it must be tough being an attractive woman in such a testosterone fuelled profession. The heels give you stature when guys have to literally look up to you, gives you a psychological edge.

BECKETT:
Well, you're right about the heels and the stature but it's not because I need it, I just like it. (They clink mugs together.)

(Enter ESPOSITO. NATALIE stands up so ESPOSITO is having to look up to both women.)

ESPOSITO:
Yo, Beckett! We got something. (Looks up at NATALIE then back to BECKETT then makes a confused face and leaves. BECKETT and NATALIE's eyes connect, complete with eyebrow raises.)

(Camera cut to bullpen. Computer image shows a mug shot of a perp.)

ESPOSITO:
Brad was right, Stacey did get a call just before she was killed, from one Duke Jones. Guy's got a sheet that reads like a primer on small-time crookery. Got B&E's, racketeering and assault.

NATALIE:
What's a high-class match-maker doing with a guy like that?

ESPOSITO:
Whatever it is, I'm guessing that it's complicated. According to Stacey's bank records she was making weekly payments of five-thousand dollars to the guy for the last two months.

CASTLE:
Anyone else notice that two months has been a recurring theme?

BECKETT:
What was the money for?

ESPOSITO:
I don't know, neither does her boyfriend or her assistant.

BECKETT:
Well, it looks like we'll have to ask him ourselves. Ready to hit the bricks, Natalie?

NATALIE:
Yeah! Just have to put on the basic famous person disguise so I'm less distracting.(She puts on a hat and grabs a pair of shades along with her purse.)

CASTLE:
Does that really fool people?

NATALIE:
Yeah, works in LA. (She puts on shades and then they all grab jackets. Speaks to CASTLE.) What about you, do you do anything to hide your fame?

BECKETT:
Doesn't really come up that much.


DUKE JONES’ OFFICE

CHLOE GRAVES:
Hi, can I help you?

BECKETT:
(Flashes badge) Yeah, we're looking for Duke Jones.

DUKE JONES:
(Comes out zipping up his fly.) Who's looking for The Duke?

BECKETT:
(Flashing badge again) Detective Beckett, NYPD.

JONES:
Oh. Chloe, why don't you get some air.

BECKETT:
We're investigating the death of Stacey Collins.

JONES:
Stacey's dead?

BECKETT:
She was murdered. What was the nature of your relationship?

JONES:
I work as a PI. She hired me to run background checks on potential clients.

CASTLE:
For five grand a week? Seems pretty steep, especially considering business was down.

JONES:
Hey, you get what'chu pay for.

BECKETT:
And what was that, exactly?

JONES:
Let's just say, I'm not afraid to go deep to find out who someone really is.

BECKETT:
And why would Stacey need your…(vomits in mouth a little bit) services all of a sudden?

JONES:
So she could vet her clients. She made a bad call on one of ‘em and it came back
to bite her on the ass.

BECKETT:
Did she tell you who?

JONES:
No.

CASTLE:
Nature of the, ah, ass biter?

JONES:
Not that either.

BECKETT:
You called Stacey twenty minutes before she was killed. What was it about?

JONES:
I'd finished a background check. I was just givin' her the down-low.

BECKETT:
And where were you last night between ten and eleven?

JONES:
Hooo! (laughs) I was bangin' my neighbor, she can…vouch for me.

BECKETT:
Great. We'll be sure to talk to her.

JONES:
Mmmhmm.

(Camera cut to the trio leaving the office from an outside office view.)

NATALIE:
So you think this ass-biting client might actually have something to do with Stacey's death?

BECKETT:
Well, recent conflict in a victim's life is definitely a red flag so...gotta look into it. Excuse me guys. (BECKETT presses a button on her cell and steps backwards to make a call.) Esposito? Yeah, I need you to look into a couple of Stacey's clients.

NATALIE:
(To CASTLE) She is crazy smart. (Takes off shades) You know sexy, commanding. On a good day, maybe, I'm one outta three.

CASTLE:
That's why you're here isn't it? To learn the ways of Beckett?

NATALIE:
I'm trying. You know Nikki is such a complex, juicy character, I just really wanna get her right, you know?

CASTLE:
Is it true you lived in your house's crawlspace for a week to prepare for Hell's Crawlspace?

NATALIE:
No. A month. I told the tabloids a week 'cause I didn't want them to think I was obsessive.

BECKETT:
(Walking back up to where CASTLE and NATALIE were waiting for her at the end of the hall. She's still on the phone.) Really? Okay, thanks. (To CASTLE and NATALIE after ending call) So CSU had a hit on Stacey's hidden key. The one they found in her office.

CASTLE:
What's it for?


STACEY COLLINS’ OFFICE

BECKETT:
(To the CSU guy moving the jukebox away from the wall) All right, stop there.

(BECKETT fits the key into the lock in the back panel of the jukebox. The panel opens to reveal a large purse/duffel tucked inside.)

CASTLE:
Odd place to store luggage.

(BECKETT pulls the bag out and puts it on the table and unzips it. Inside is a lot of money in the form of fifty dollar bills in five grand bundles.)

NATALIE:
Whoa! That's a lot of cash!

CASTLE:
It's gotta be at least a couple hundred grand!

BECKETT:
Now we know what our killer was looking for.


PRECINCT

BECKETT:
So according to Stacey’s assistant the business barely had any money, let alone two-hundred and fifty grand. And as for this Burglin-Eckloff(?) bag it's definitely not Stacey's. Our vic was a Tumi girl.

NATALIE:
Well maybe the money belongs to the person who owns the bag.

BECKETT:
Yeah, well, good luck finding that person. You can't pull prints off of this kind of material.

NATALIE:
You can just check the registry.

CASTLE:
Registry?

NATALIE:
That's a six-thousand dollar handcrafted German bag! All Burglin-Eckloffs are assigned a number, when you buy it you register at the company in case you lose it or it gets stolen.

BECKETT:
(With laughter in her voice) What kind of an idiot would pay six grand for this bag?

NATALIE:
I have a full set.

(Awkward moment much.)

NATALIE:
There should be a number sewn in there somewhere.

(Time lapse and now they are all over by the murder board.)

RYAN:
So a guy from Munich with a Colonel Klink accent just emailed over the bag registration. The owner of this bag is Tonya Wellington.

BECKETT:
(To NATALIE) You know you might have just cracked this case wide open.

NATALIE:
Seriously?

BECKETT:
Yeah.

CASTLE:
It's addictive, right? That rush you get from solving a crime?

NATALIE:
Yeah! I didn't get that from the script.

CASTLE:
Yeah, you should really read the book.

NATALIE:
I definitely will.

(Enter ESPOSITO)

ESPOSITO:
Yo! I knew that name was familiar. Tonya Wellington and her husband Bill were invited to Stacey's surprise party.

CASTLE:
But we talked to all the guests, I don't remember that name?

ESPOSITO:
They were invited but they declined.

BECKETT:
Let's see if they'll accept an invitation to my interrogation party. (Standing up and putting her hands on her hips which NATALIE copies exactly. The guys all have facial expressions that are reflected in what they say.)

RYAN:
So uncanny.

ESPOSITO:
Spooky.

CASTLE:
Sexy.

(BECKETT turns to look at NATALIE.)

BECKETT:
Are you...doing...me?

NATALIE:
(Drops BECKETT stance.) I'm just working on your posture. You know it changes depending whether you have a suspect or not.

BECKETT:
Really?

NATALIE:
Like I said, getting inside your head. When I'm done I'll do you better than you. (Snaps fingers and struts away.)

(The guys are all still looking BECKETT up and down.)

BECKETT:
(To RYAN and ESPOSITO) Tonya Wellington, now.

(Exit RYAN and ESPOSITO. BECKETT is fidgety in sitting on her desk, now overly self conscious. After seeing this, CASTLE tries not to smile and looks up and off to the side. Camera cuts to Interrogation; time has passed and TONYA WELLINGTON is in the hot seat. She’s brought an entourage of four lawyers with her. Author‘s Note: I know it should be ‘Mrs‘ but they are clearly saying ‘Miss‘ which should have been an indication that not all was right in Pleasantville.)

BECKETT:
You were a client of Stacey Collins, is that correct, Miss Wellington?

TONYA WELLINGTON:
(Looks for lawyers' nods of approval before answering.) Yes, she introduced me to my husband, Bill.

BECKETT:
But you didn't go to her party last night, why's that?

(Camera cuts to observation with NATALIE, CASTLE, and RYAN.)

NATALIE:
"But you didn't go to her party last night, why's that?"

CASTLE:
That was a great Beckett!

RYAN:
Yeah, almost creepy great! Not that you're creepy, just great! Hee!

(Camera shifts back inside interrogation.)

BECKETT:
Miss Wellington, we found a Burglin-Eckloff bag registered to you containing two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars hidden in Stacey Collins' office. Can you explain where that came from?

LEAD LAWYER:
I'm afraid Miss Wellington chooses not to answer that question.

BECKETT:
Did you give Stacey that cash? What was it for? Miss Wellington, who else knew that she had it? (Each question is met with silence.)

LEAD LAWYER:
Again my client is asserting her right to not answer.

BECKETT:
And I will remind your client that this is a murder investigation and I believe that that bag and money are at the heart of this case.

LEAD LAWYER:
Tread lightly, Detective. My client's here as a courtesy and her husband, Bill Wellington, is a powerful man.

BECKETT:
Miss Wellington, what happened two months ago?

(TONYA WELLINGTON looks over to her lawyer.)

LEAD LAWYER:
This meeting's over.

(They all get up and leave.)


CASTLE’S LOFT

(It’s night-time and CASTLE is re-watching the NATALIE RHODES audition tape in his office. ALEXIS creeps in holding glass of milk.)

ALEXIS
Torturing yourself?

CASTLE:
Reconsidering, actually. I think there's more to her than I thought.

ALEXIS
I think she might surprise you. She had this great emotional scene in Knife 3D, it was actually pretty moving. If I'd seen it, which I haven't.


PRECINCT

(NATALIE is writing on the murder board, BECKETT is at her desk and CASTLE walks in holding the usual morning coffees, his and BECKETT's.)

NATALIE:
Thanks, Castle! (Takes BECKETT's coffee.)

CASTLE:
Th-that's, I was, er...you're welcome. (BECKETT is not happy that NATALIE took her coffee. To BECKETT) So where are we?

NATALIE:
Ryan and Esposito are digging into Tonya Wellington.

CASTLE:
Hmm. (Again to BECKETT) What about Duke Jones, his neighbour confirm his romantic evening?

BECKETT:
He-

NATALIE:
(Cutting off BECKETT) So did a couple other neighbours who complained about the noise. So it looks like Duke Jones alibis out.

BECKETT:
What she said. (To CASTLE.) Can we talk for a second?

CASTLE:
Sure.

(Physically pulls him into a side office. SNAFU on which arm she's holding.)

BECKETT:
She took my coffee, Castle!

CASTLE:
It's just coffee.

BECKETT:
Then what's next, my soul? Everything I do, she does! Even when I'm thinking, I can feel her in my head, like some kind of brain eating parasite from one of her movies!

CASTLE:
She’s a dedicated actress, she just wants to do a good job.

RYAN:
(Entering office) Hey! No update on what the two-hundred and fifty K was for, but I think we found that bad client that Duke Jones mentioned. It's Tonya's husband Bill Wellington. Turns out Tonya's wife number three. Bill divorced the other two just before their pre-nups expired leaving them without a dime. And get this. He was about to do the same to Tonya. He filed for divorce two months ago.

BECKETT:
So that's why Stacey became more selective with her clients, she knew Tonya would be left with nothing.

RYAN:
Ehh, not exactly nothing. The Wellingtons' pre-nup has an infidelity clause which Bill violated. He owes Tonya a hundred million bucks for cheating on her. She even has the boudoir shots to prove it. (Holds up folder with shots inside.)

BECKETT:
You have the photographs? (RYAN nods smugly) From where?

RYAN:
(Opening folder) Her divorce file. Pretty salacious too.

CASTLE:
Can I see...the...(Looks at the photos.)

BECKETT:
Castle, we're looking into a murder, not dirty photos.

CASTLE:
Or maybe we can do both. (Holds up photo.) Look familiar?

BECKETT:
That's Chloe, Duke Jones' assistant.

CASTLE:
That two-hundred and fifty grand? That was a payment to Stacey to break up Tonya's pre-nup.

BECKETT:
So Stacey hired Duke in order to get photographic evidence.

CASTLE:
Mmmhmm, and Duke's assistant Chloe, here, was the bait.

BECKETT:
And then they honey-trapped Bill Wellington to break up the pre-nup costing him a hundred million dollars!

CASTLE:
Man, if I were him I'd be out for blood.

(BECKETT takes the photos away from CASTLE. RYAN reaches for them but BECKETT doesn't give them back.)

BECKETT:
Let's bring him in. (Exits)

CASTLE:
You have copies of that file?

RYAN:
Oh, I copy everything.

(Camera cuts to observation. Time has lapsed; BILL WELLINGTON is in interrogation sweating it out.)

NATALIE:
Guy looks like a pit-bull. I can see him sticking someone through a wrought-iron fence.

CASTLE:
Yeah.

BECKETT:
Stacey must have felt incredibly guilty putting Tonya in a relationship with him. So she decided to level the playing field.

(BECKETT leaves observation and goes into interrogation.)

NATALIE:
Legally, does it matter to the case why Stacey did what she did?

CASTLE:
No, but that's what makes Beckett such a great detective, she invests in the victim.

(Camera cuts into interrogation where Bill Wellington is looking at a murder scene photo of Stacey Collins.)

BILL WELLINGTON:
You think I did this to Stacey Collins?! What my motive?

BECKETT:
Because of what she did to your marriage.

WELLINGTON:
It's not like she put a gun to my head and said, ‘marry the beast.’

BECKETT:
Well, that's very big of you, Mr. Wellington. We also know that you were having an affair with this woman. (Flips over the picture of Chloe with Wellington.)

WELLINGTON:
What does my personal business got to do with the murder of Stacey Collins?

BECKETT:
I will be asking the questions, Mr. Wellington. How did you meet Chloe?

WELLINGTON:
At the bar at Il Mulino. She liked my watch and I liked her eyes. She had a suite at the Beaumont Hotel. It used to be a guy could get a little on the side without worrying about some moron with a camera ruining his life.

BECKETT:
Expensive affair. I understand that it cost you a hundred million dollars. You must have been pretty angry when you discovered Stacey Collins engineered the whole thing in order to break your pre-nup.

WELLINGTON:
That b***h did what?!

BECKETT:
(In a warning tone) Mr. Wellington, I-

WELLINGTON:
Are you telling me that this piece of tail worked for Stacey and that Stacey and my wife arranged all this?

BECKETT:
Cost you a hundred million bucks. I've seen people kill for far less.

WELLINGTON:
Now you listen to me, Detective. I had nothing to do with that murder, because had I known, I would have killed Stacey and Tonya, both!

BECKETT:
Where were you last Sunday night, Mr. Wellington?

(Time lapse and camera cut to bullpen.)

CASTLE:
Hong Kong?

BECKETT:
He was there for a week. His jet touched down at Westchester County Airport yesterday afternoon.

NATALIE:
Maybe he hired someone. We should re-check his financials.

(Enter RYAN and ESPOSITO.)

ESPOSITO:
Beckett! Just got back from Duke's, the entire place is cleaned out. There's no files, no computers, not even a paperclip.

RYAN:
Checked his home address too. No sign of him, he's gone.

CASTLE:
What about our honey-trap, Chloe?

RYAN:
No Chloe Graves matching her description in the tri-state area, and Stacey's assistant, Julie, never heard of her or Duke or honey-trapping. With her and Duke gone there's no way to track 'em down.

BECKETT:
So either Stacey's murderer spooked them both and they got outta Dodge or-

NATALIE:
Or they killed Stacey and now they're on the run. (NATALIE smiles, proud of herself; everyone else looks kind of weirded out.)

BECKETT:
Wellington said Chloe had a suite at the Beaumont Hotel. (To RYAN and ESPOSITO) You guys see what you can dig up. We'll run background and see what we can find on Duke.

ESPOSITO:
Right.

(ESPOSITO and RYAN make to leave, RYAN walking backwards looking at NATALIE with a confused look on his face. As they walk out a delivery man walks in with a box.)

DELIVERY MAN:
Natalie Rhodes?

NATALIE:
Yes!

(NATALIE signs for the package.)

CASTLE:
What did you get?

NATALIE:
Oh, it's just a little something to help with my research. Where's the ladies room?

CASTLE:
Yeah, over just...by the elevator. (CASTLE turns towards the ladies room, confused, and points. BECKETT, on the phone, points towards the ladies room, also looking confused.)

NATALIE:
Great! (To the delivery guy) Thanks! (She takes the box and heads for the ladies room.)


BEAUMONT HOTEL

(RYAN and ESPOSITO are talking to a hotel employee and flashing CHLOE’s picture.)

DESK CLERK:
Yeah, I know her, that's Greta.

RYAN:
Greta?

DESK CLERK:
Greta Morgan.

RYAN:
And she stayed here about three weekends ago, is that right?

DESK CLERK:
Yes, and checked out last Monday.

ESPOSITO:
Two week stay, huh? (Desk clerk nods an affirmative.) Did you notice anybody with her? (Pulls out picture of DUKE JONES) This guy perhaps?

DESK CLERK:
Yeah. Yeah, he met her in the lobby a couple of times. He must really be in big trouble, huh?

ESPOSITO:
Why's that?

DESK CLERK:
There was a cop here the other day asking all the same questions.


PRECINCT

(CASTLE is sitting at the desk of the back office. BECKETT walks in with a mug-shot and rap sheet of Greta Morgan.)

BECKETT:
Duke's assistant Chloe, Greta Morgan. Former exotic dancer picked up a couple of times for solicitation, probation and time served.

CASTLE:
Well, it looks like she decided to go a little more upscale. You know, given how much Tonya paid Stacey and how little Stacey paid Duke, looks like money is our motive.

BECKETT:
Maybe. APBs are out on Greta and I contacted other precincts to find out who else is investigating her and for what.

(CASTLE has his pencil in his mouth, it's actually kind of cute.)

NATALIE:
Talk to enough people and something usually shakes out. (The pencil falls out of CASTLE’s mouth to clatter on the desk in CASTLE's shock and surprise. NATALIE has dyed her hair to match BECKETT's and is wearing clothes very similar to BECKETT's. BECKETT looks her up and down, horrified.)

CASTLE:
Just like I dreamed it! ...Did I say that out loud?

OFFICER VELASQUEZ:
(Mistaking NATALIE for BECKETT from behind and handing her the paperwork.) Here you go, Beckett.

NATALIE:
Thanks, Johnson. (To BECKETT) It's Johnson, isn't it?

BECKETT:
(Snatches paperwork from NATALIE.) It's Velasquez, and you are not me!

NATALIE:
(Leaning on the desk toward CASTLE sexily) No, but I'm getting warmer.

CASTLE:
You certainly are.

BECKETT:
(Leaning over the desk and picking up the paperwork forcefully.) Okay, so the word's out on Greta, and we're already tracking Duke's credit cards. (Slamming her hand down on paperwork NATALIE was starting to grab) Why don't we just call it a night.

NATALIE:
What?! But it's so early!

CASTLE:
Yeah!

BECKETT:
Yeah, well it's a high-stress job, and I wouldn't want anyone to get burnt out.

NATALIE:
All right. I'll go pack up my things.

(BECKETT closes the door behind her.)

BECKETT:
(Whispered) You can not tell me that that is normal?!

CASTLE:
(Whispered) She's just committed to the role. You should be flattered. (Makes hasty retreat from the office.)

BECKETT:
(Still horrified. To an empty room.) Yeah. Sure. Until she steals my boyfriend and kills me in my sleep.

(Camera cut to bullpen where CASTLE sees NATALIE heading out carrying the box from the delivery guy that was her Beckett-clone kit.)

CASTLE:
Let me carry that for you.

NATALIE:
(Hands over box) Thank you. Oh, look at me, all dressed up and no crime to solve.

CASTLE:
Oh, yeah.

NATALIE:
And I had my heart set on doing research tonight.

CASTLE:
Oh.

NATALIE:
So what do you think? Am I everything you thought Nikki would be?

CASTLE:
(still agog at her BECKETT-style aura)
Uh-huh.

NATALIE:
You know, I read Heat Wave last night!

CASTLE:
Really?!

NATALIE:
You’re right, it was so much better than the screenplay! I went right out and read Naked Heat. You know I realized the character of Jameson Rook is based on you.

CASTLE:
Well, yeah, I guess I drew on my relationship with Detective Beckett.

NATALIE:
Even the sex scenes?

CASTLE:
No, that was just…

NATALIE:
Fantasy? Like me, now?

CASTLE:
Well, y-y-you know you want to give the audience what they want.

NATALIE:
Oh, yeah.

(Elevator dings announcing the arrival of the car; doors open and they both get on.)

NATALIE:
(Stepping uncomfortably close to CASTLE) You know, the script is so much about the passion between Nikki and Rook. If I’m gonna play Nikki right…(pushes CASTLE up against the wall of the elevator) …I gotta feel that heat.

CASTLE:
(Nervously) Natalie, I’m ah-

NATALIE:
Not Natalie, Nikki. (She plants one on him.)

(Camera view switches to show BECKETT exiting the side office and going to her desk. The sound of CASTLE dropping the cardboard box makes her look up to see NATALIE and CASTLE making out in the elevator just before the doors close, leaving BECKETT in stunned silence. )


PRECINCT

(CASTLE walks in carrying the usual morning cups of coffee and wearing a grin.)

UNIFORMED OFFICER:
Good morning, Castle.

CASTLE:
(Nods at the uniformed cop as he walks by.) Ah, good morning, Detective! (Holds out BECKETT’s coffee.)

BECKETT:
(Looks at coffee, then at CASTLE) Is that for me, or the fictional version of me? Or have you already taken care of her this morning?

CASTLE:
What is-What is that supposed to mean?

BECKETT:
I-

(JENNY DUFFY-O'MALLEY runs by crying.)

RYAN:
(Running down the hall after her) Jenny! Jenny, wait! Jenny, could you please- Sweetie can we just talk about this?!

(Elevator doors open as JENNY reaches them to reveal NATALIE RHODES. JENNY gets even more upset and gets on the elevator.)

JENNY:
(Pushing him angrily so the doors will close) I hate you, Kevin Ryan!

NATALIE:
Ooo. That was dramatic.

BECKETT:
What happened?

RYAN:
I accidentally left my phone at home and she brought it to me and while she was here she asked Javier how darts was last night.

(ESPOSITO opens his mouth but not much sound comes out.)

CASTLE:
Oh, your cover story for going to see her parents.

ESPOSITO:
You should have told me, bro.

BECKETT:
She thought you lied to her.

RYAN: (to NATALIE)
Yeah, and then she found out I was working with you, which I hadn't told her.

NATALIE:
What's the big deal about that?

RYAN:
(Looking around uncomfortably) You're on my list.

NATALIE:
What list?

RYAN:
My list. M-my freebie five. Th-the five celebrities you could sleep with if you had the chance to...and, uh, now she thinks that last night that we...and I-I should probably stop talking right now. I should call her is what I should do. Excuse me.

NATALIE:
Freebie five, huh? Wonder what number I am?

BECKETT:
Why does that not surprise me?

NATALIE:
So any update on our honey-trapper?

BECKETT:
Uh, yeah. I heard from all of the other precincts and none of the other cops were looking for a Chloe Graves slash Greta Morgan at the Beaumont.

CASTLE:
Well, someone was. What about Duke, any sign of him?

BECKETT:
Well, we are looking into his credit cards and his phone but so far no hits.

ESPOSITO:
Maybe not on Duke's cards but I just found something on Greta's. She put holds on rooms at two other pricey hotels within the last week. The charges were reversed and the rooms were ultimately paid for, on another credit card. The corporate card belonging to a Stacey Collins, our victim.

CASTLE:
The last week? That was long after they'd gotten the evidence they needed on Bill Wellington?

BECKETT:
They were honey-trapping other men.

CASTLE:
So one of the other men finds out he's being set up. He follows Greta from the Beaumont Hotel back to Stacey.

BECKETT:
He confronts her, they get into an argument, in a rage he kills her.

NATALIE:
Taking her keys to get rid of any incriminating evidence of the affair at her office.

BECKETT:
Check the other hotels, let's see what we can find on Greta.

ESPOSITO:
Right.

BECKETT:
Thanks.

CASTLE:
I'm gonna check on Ryan.

BECKETT:
Great. (Sits down at desk and grabs the coffee CASTLE brought.)

NATALIE:
Can I ask you a question?

BECKETT:
Sure. (Takes a long pull from coffee cup.)

NATALIE:
Is Castle gay?

BECKETT:
(Spits out coffee on her desk) I'm sorry, what? No. No.

NATALIE:
Then you two are an item but you're sworn to secrecy, right?

BECKETT:
No, we are not an item. Why?

NATALIE:
Last night I invited him back to my place and he said something to me I have never heard from a man before.

BECKETT:
What?

NATALIE:
No.

BECKETT:
No?

NATALIE:
I don't get it?! He's into you but you're determined not to give in to these feelings that you clearly have for him. So he fantasizes about you through his writing. It's literally verbal masturbation.

BECKETT:
He-ee, wha- Okay, so what does this all have to do with me?

NATALIE:
I am not wearing this get-up for my health. You're Nikki Heat. He's Jameson Rook. I need to sleep with him in the name of character research. Can you talk to him?

BECKETT:
And say what?

NATALIE:
I don't know. Give him permission or something.

BECKETT:
Eh-I-(Sigh) I need to go...over there. (Points to her left, grabs coffee and leaves.)

(New scene. NATALIE is writing on the murder board and then studies it, doing her best BECKETT imitation. BECKETT is watching her through the window of the break room and CASTLE walks in and stops to stand behind her.)

CASTLE:
Everything okay?

BECKETT:
Do I really do that?

CASTLE:
Yes, and it's adorable.

BECKETT:
If it's so adorable why didn't you sleep with me? (CASTLE looks at BECKETT in stunned silence.) Her 'me', not me 'me'.

CASTLE:
Oh. Well, a fictional character that I wrote, based on you, played by Natalie Rhodes? That’s just...way too meta.

(BECKETT mouths the word meta, not knowing what it means, which is probably why CASTLE chose it in the first place. Enter RYAN. All three speak in hushed tones as they watch NATALIE play around with the murder board and then flash her fake badge theatrically.)

RYAN:
We really should have a code word so we all know which Beckett to kill when her clone army attacks.

BECKETT:
Unless we make a pre-emptive strike.

CASTLE:
Get through to Jenny yet?

RYAN:
Still not pickin' up.

BECKETT:
Not to worry, you'll be laughing about it soon enough.

CASTLE:
We are.

RYAN:
Thanks. So I've been runnin' through all of Stacey's client files. Three couples have filed for divorce within the last month. Can you believe it? I mean, you marry the love of your life the next thing you know they're cheating on you with someone-

BECKETT:
Ryan.

RYAN:
Sorry. Anyway. Two of the guys have rock solid alibis for the time of Stacey's murder and the third divorce had nothing to do with cheating.

(Enter ESPOSITO)

ESPOSITO:
What are guys doing?

RYAN:
Hiding from creepy Beckett.

BECKETT:
We're not hi- D'you find anything on Greta Morgan?

ESPOSITO:
Yeah, I found something pretty interesting at the Meritage Hotel.

BECKETT:
What?

ESPOSITO:
Greta Morgan. (Head nods to direct their attention to two uniforms bringing in Greta Morgan in cuffs.)

(Camera cuts to Greta Morgan in interrogation with BECKETT and CASTLE sitting across from her and NATALIE RHODES standing behind them.)

GRETA MORGAN:
I didn't kill her! I told you where I was that night. People saw me.

BECKETT:
It doesn't matter, we already have you on prostitution and extortion. So you're looking at ten years, but if you decide to help us find the truth I might be inspired to recommend that the DA give you a suspended sentence.

MORGAN:
What do you want to know?

CASTLE:
Were there any other marks besides Bill Wellington?

MORGAN:
Stacey hated that because of her these women were in relationships with bad men. She felt an obligation to give them a way out with dignity.

BECKETT:
The others, how many were there?

MORGAN:
Two.

BECKETT:
I'm gonna need their names.

(Morgan crosses her arms and gets stony-faced.)

NATALIE:
(Slamming both her hands down on the table.) Their names, Greta! Now!

MORGAN:
Rich Weiss and Scott Donner.

(Back at the murder board, the pictures of Richard Weiss and Scott Donner have been posted.)

ESPOSITO:
Tall with dark hair. They both match the description of the guy who was sniffin' around the Beaumont Hotel.

NATALIE:
We talked to both of those guys. Are you saying one of them might be the killer?

ESPOSITO:
Yeah, but which one of them did it and how do we prove it?

BECKETT:
By figuring out which cheater went home with his wife.

CASTLE:
And which one stayed behind to commit murder.

(Camera cuts. Time lapse and CASTLE, BECKETT, and NATALIE are walking in to the bullpen. RYAN and ESPOSITO are both on their phones at their desks.)

CASTLE:
So, it comes to this: two phone calls to two wives, one of whom has been sleeping with a cold-hearted killer.

NATALIE:
See, this should totally be in the movie. No twisty this, no melodramatic that.

CASTLE:
Eh-eh, people love twisty thises and melodramatic that’s.

NATALIE:
They love what's real. You know, less is more. The hardest thing to perform as an actor: doing nothing, just being still, being quiet.

BECKETT:
(Derisive snort) Yeah, I'd love to see that.

ESPOSITO:
(Hanging up phone) So, Richard's wife confirms that after the party the two of them went straight home.

RYAN:
(Still on his phone.) Yes, Thank you. (Hangs up.) Scott's wife confirmed that the two of them went straight home as well. (He waits a long beat until they all looked bummed.) But, then Scott went back out and met his cousin Benjamin for a drink, only, Benjamin doesn't remember having that drink. Turns out Scott and his wife left the party an hour before Stacey left giving him plenty of time to get back there and follow her.

BECKETT:
So what do you say, Natalie, you want to join us on your first arrest?

NATALIE:
Hell yeah. Let's take that cheating dirt-bag down! (Awkward silence.) Too much?

BECKETT:
I-I just usually say 'Let's go'.

NATALIE:
(Snaps fingers.) See less is more.


SCOTT DONNER’S OFFICE

BECKETT:
(Flashing badge) Mr. Donner, Detective Beckett-NYPD. We're here about Stacey Collins' murder.

SCOTT DONNER:
I don't understand. I told you everything I know down at the station.

BECKETT:
Yes, but you didn't tell us where you were when she was murdered.

CASTLE:
We know you weren't with your wife.

NATALIE:
Or with your cousin having a drink.

BECKETT:
You lied about that. So where were you?

DONNER:
I was...(fumbles for an answer.)

BECKETT:
What did you stand to lose? Thirty, forty million after the divorce? You confronted Stacey and you asked her for those photos. She refused and then you killed her.

DONNER:
No, no, no, no!

BECKETT:
Mr. Donner you're under arrest for the murder of St-

DONNER:
No! (Opens desk drawer and pulls out a gun.)

CASTLE:
Gun!

BECKETT:
(Drawing her own gun) Hey!

DONNER:
You stay back, all of you! (Holding his gun to his own head just under his ear.)

BECKETT:
You do not need to do this, Scott. Give me the gun.

DONNER:
No! I didn't mean to kill her! I just wanted the pictures! She tried to break away! I didn't even see the gate there, and those spikes!

BECKETT:
Okay, fine. It was an accident.

DONNER:
Oh, what does it matter?! It's all over for me!

BECKETT:
Scott, give me the gun and I promise you, you will get a fair trial!

DONNER:
You think I'm foolin' around here, Detective?

NATALIE:
(Much calmer than she was in the audition tape.) No, I don't. I think you feel trapped, and you're serious as Hell. But right now you need to think about the people who love you, and they need you...to put down that gun!

(Sobbing, Donner lowers the gun. BECKETT moves in and grabs the gun and cuffs Donner.)

CASTLE:
Guess that script wasn't so hackey after all!


PRECINCT

(Back in the bullpen. NATALIE is blonde again.)

NATALIE:
You know, it's tragic, really. All Stacey wanted was to help save these women from getting screwed in their divorces, instead she winds up getting killed.

BECKETT:
Well, thanks to you, we only have one death on our hands.

NATALIE:
I'm just glad it all worked out. But I could have used another take. I should have added an extra beat in that last line. Instead of "Put down that gun." I should have said, "Put down...that gun." Hear the difference? Totally adds layers.

(CASTLE nods, his mouth open.)

BECKETT:
(Sounding really tired) Sounded good to me, sounded just like me.

NATALIE:
Thanks for everything, Kate. I'll try to do you and Nikki justice. (She hugs BECKETT, who smiles.) Even if I didn't get to do all the character research I'd hoped. (She looks pointedly at CASTLE. CASTLE's eyes get wide and then he has a tight lipped smile. BECKETT takes it in stride but still puts her hand on her hip.)

NATALIE:
Visit me on set, Castle.

CASTLE:
I wouldn't miss it. (BECKETT looks back at him as NATALIE exits.) I wouldn't.

(Enter RYAN and ESPOSITO.)

ESPOSITO:
Natalie Rhodes, and I thought it was cool working with you, Castle.

CASTLE:
Nice.

(JENNY walks in.)

JENNY:
Hi, guys.

BECKETT, CASTLE and ESPOSITO:
Hey.

RYAN:
Jenny, I am so glad to see you. (Hugs the stuffin’s outta her.)

(ESPOSITO is standing right behind RYAN. BECKETT pretends to be texting on her phone. CASTLE is pretending to read a book.)

JENNY:
I-I just wanted to tell you all I'm sorry about before. I made a scene...

RYAN:
Jenny, it's okay.

JENNY:
No. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me, Kevin, and I want you to know that I trust you, and I love you. I'm sorry.

RYAN:
No I- (Turns around to give ESPOSITO a 'Dude WTF?' look. ESPOSITO mouths 'Oh, sorry' and backs away. RYAN turns back to JENNY.) No, I'm the one who's sorry, because I lied to you. But I'm gonna set the record straight right now because you deserve the truth. So wait here, just one second. (RYAN runs to his desk.)

CASTLE:
What is he doing?!

BECKETT:
Shh!

RYAN:
(Holding the ring behind his back.) I didn't play darts with Javier last night. I went to go see your parents because I had a question for them. (Kneels) Jennifer Scout Duffy-O'Malley, will you make me the happiest guy in the world and marry me? (Opens the ring box.)

JENNY:
Oh my God! Y-yes! Yes! Yes!

(RYAN puts the ring on her finger as the entire bullpen breaks out in applause and they kiss.)

CASTLE:
That was big!

BECKETT:
(Teary-eyed) Oh, and intimate!

(They all move forward to congratulate the couple as the song "Flower "by Amos Lee plays on.)

~FIN~

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